I find snow dazzling… the way it seemingly mutes the landscape, appearing to sparkle as it reflects light, is just magical. This past Friday, my friend and I braved the treacherous roads to travel down to Hocking Hills in Ohio and immerse ourselves in the quiet, glistening landscape for the weekend. I was coming off of a particularly stressful couple of weeks and weariness felt heavy in my body. As we climbed out of the car and started our hike among the trails of Hocking Hills, it seemed as though I was gradually awakening; my fatigue lifted and my senses shifted into clearer focus. As Steven Harper eloquently states:
“Upon entering wilderness one of the first things that almost everyone experiences is an enlivening of the five basic senses. Suddenly, we are bathed with and sometimes overloaded with new sounds, awesome sights, interesting textures, different smells and tastes. People frequently comment about the surprise and excitement they have in rediscovering their sensory experience. This rediscovery and awakening of our senses, or perhaps better stated, ‘coming to our senses,’ is a subtly powerful and underrated experience. People learn how greatly some of our basic modes of perception have been dulled in order to survive in the urban world” (http://www.stevenkharper.com/wayofwilderness.html).Breathing the frigid air into my lungs, my feet crunching over the snow, I couldn’t help but be called back to right now. My awareness of the vulnerability of my body deepened as I navigated the slick, icy ground. I felt the power of that slippery frozen earth calling my perspective back into check, reminding me of my exquisite smallness on this planet. Nothing that had felt so pressing before seemed urgent… or even relevant… now. After just 3 days immersed in the snow covered hills, I reconnected with a deeply felt sense of serenity and ease.
I traveled back home to begin the week renewed.